New programme boosts access to Europe for East African SMEs

An initiative designed to boost access to Europe for small and medium-sized enterprises in the East African Community (EAC) took a major step forward this week with the launch of the programme at the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) headquarters in Geneva. 

Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) is a regional initiative funded under the 11th European Development Fund contributing to the economic development of the EAC. Taking advantage of a growing global demand for avocado, cocoa, coffee, spices, tea and horticulture products, selected SMEs will be trained to adapt their agribusiness to better seize market opportunities in regional and global value chains.

The programme assists SMEs in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

At the regional level, ITC will support EAC's efforts to improve regional trade and the business environment for selected commodities. This will include advocating for the removal of sectoral trade barriers, as well as strengthening SME export competitiveness and business development. At the country level, ITC will train small enterprises in Burundi and Tanzania on market analysis, quality standard compliance and certification conformity.

Participants from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda are attending a five-day induction workshop this week that will set out programme’s main features and planned activities. 

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